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Texas Vital Statistics Indexes

 
Introduction

Our collection includes print and microform indexes to some Texas births, deaths, marriages, and divorces, published by the Texas Department of Health and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The indexes are organized chronologically by year and then alphabetically by name and provide the date of the event, the county in which the event occurred, and often the certificate file number. We do not have the actual certificates.

Searching the Indexes

Our collection of Texas vital statistics indexes is located in our Reference Reading Room. As of September 1, 2022 we are unable to search or provide transcriptions by phone or email from the indexes in this collection. Patrons are welcome to use the indexes on-site at our Austin, Texas, location or access vital statistics records online or on microfilm.

Microform copies of the indexes are also available for libraries to borrow through interlibrary loan. Contact your local library for more information about requesting indexes through the interlibrary loan program.

Official Records and Verifications
    
We do not have the actual certificates. Contact the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)  to purchase copies of vital statistics indexes, or to request vital records or marriage and divorce verifications. Electronic copies of some marriage and divorce indexes are available to download from the DSHS website free of charge. 

Some records may be available from the county where the event occurred. A list of County and District Clerk addresses is on the County and District Clerks’ Association of Texas website.

Births
Registration of births at the state level began in 1903 with the establishment of the State Department of Public Health and Vital Statistics.

Births 1903 and Later

Our collection includes birth indexes from 1903 through the most recent year available (currently 2010). We have one cumulative index for the years 1903 through 1909. Beginning with 1910, each year is indexed separately.

It was as late as the 1930s before births were consistently recorded. The notation "Inf of", meaning "infant of", may appear instead of a first name in the birth indexes, so searching by parents' names can be helpful.

Births Prior to 1903 (Delayed Birth Indexes)

Many people whose births were not officially recorded at the time had records established later in life. State registration of delayed birth certificates began in 1939, and we have indexes to a small portion of them. The indexes are arranged alphabetically and can include births from as early as 1880 and as late as 1975. Sometimes even individuals born out of state were issued a delayed birth certificate in Texas. Delayed births at the state level are registered under the individual’s full name, so there are no “infant of” listings or parents’ names in the delayed birth indexes.

If births were recorded before 1903, they were recorded in the county clerk's office in the county of birth, so you will want to check there for any records. 

Births After 2010

The latest index to Texas births we have available is for the year 2010.

You may wish to contact the county where the birth occurred.

Deaths
Registration of deaths at the state level began in 1903 with the establishment of the State Department of Public Health and Vital Statistics.

Deaths 1903 and Later

Our collection includes death indexes from 1903 through the most recent year available (currently 2010). There is one cumulative index for the years 1903 through 1940, one index for 1941 through 1945, and one index for 1946 through 1955. Beginning with 1956, each year is indexed separately.

It was as late as the 1930s before deaths were consistently recorded. In the case of the death of an infant, the notation "Inf of", meaning "infant of", sometimes appears instead of a first name in the death indexes. Women are sometimes listed under their husband's first name.

Deaths Prior to 1903

If deaths were recorded before 1903, they were recorded in the county clerk's office in the county of birth, so you will want to check there for any records. Some deaths prior to 1903 may be listed in the supplement to the cumulative death index for 1903 through 1940.

Deaths After 2010

The latest index to Texas deaths we have available is for the year 2010.

You may wish to contact the county where the death occurred.

Marriages
Registration of marriages at the state level began in 1966.

Marriages Prior to 1966

Records of marriages prior to 1966 were only maintained by the county clerk's office in the county where the marriage license was obtained.

Marriages 1966 and Later

Our collection includes marriage indexes from 1966 through 2005. Each year is indexed separately.

Certified marriage records are only available from the county clerk’s office in the county where the marriage license was obtained.

Divorces
Registration of divorces at the state level began in 1968.

Divorces Prior to 1968

Records of divorces prior to 1968 were only maintained by the district clerk's office in the county where the divorce was obtained.

Divorces 1968 and Later

Our collection includes divorce indexes from 1968 through 2005. There is one cumulative index for the years 1968 through 1972. Beginning with 1973, each year is indexed separately.

Divorce decrees and records are only available from the district clerk’s office in the county where the divorce was obtained.

Other Vital Statistics Resources

Online Databases

Genealogy websites such as FamilySearch.org  or Ancestry.com  provide access to collections of Texas vital records and indexes, including some records held by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) or at county offices. While we cannot guarantee records will be found in these collections, searching them may be helpful.

Please note that Ancestry requires users to buy a subscription to access online collections. If you do not have an Ancestry subscription, check with your local library to see if they provide access to Ancestry Library Edition. On-site access to Ancestry Library Edition is available in our Reference Reading Room.

FamilySearch does not charge users to access their collections, but you will need to register for a free account. Some Texas vital statistics collections available to search include:

Microfilm and Digitized Records

Every county differs in how older records were maintained. Some vital statistics records may be available through the TSLAC Regional Historical Resource Depository Program (RHRD), as various county records for many Texas counties were microfilmed in collaboration with the Genealogical Society of Utah (now FamilySearch) to facilitate preservation and access through local depositories. 

If you know the county where a birth, death, marriage, or divorce occurred, visit the listing of County Records on Microfilm posted on our website. Check for the county you are researching and the types of records which have been filmed. Contact the repository listed or your local library about options for accessing the reels through the interlibrary loan program. 

Many county records from the RHRD program have been digitized and are available on the FamilySearch website. You can search for collections by county name on the FamilySearch catalog    using the “Place” field, and filter results by “Availability” to include only those available online. Some of the digital records are available to access online with a free FamilySearch account. Other records must be accessed through a Family History Center or FamilySearch Affiliate Library

An image of the FamilySearch logo, containing a stylized tree with boxes for leaves and text in green of FamilySearch TSLAC's Austin and Library locations are FamilySearch affiliate libraries.

Related Materials

County Records on Microfilm
Newspaper Research at TSLAC
City Directories

Other Resources
Texas Historical Records Survey. Guide to Public Vital Statistics Records in Texas. San Antonio: State Bureau of Vital Statistics, 1941. Available from: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001596657 ; Internet; accessed September 2020.

Research Assistance
You can hire a private researcher to conduct research in our collections on your behalf. We can refer you to the following professional associations to find a genealogist in your area. TSLAC does not endorse individual researchers and any specific questions should be directed to the listing organization.
Page last modified: September 13, 2022